Off-Season Adventures

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Avoid the crowds and bag a bargain by travelling to the world’s best bits when everyone else isn’t. Here are 10 reasons to resist travel during high season, straight from Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Adventures.

‘Green season’ safari, Botswana

Avoid the crowds and bag a bargain by travelling to the world’s best bits when everyone else isn’t. Here are 10 reasons to resist travel during high season, straight from Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Adventures.

‘Green season’ safari, Botswana

Hippos in Botswana by Mazzali / CC BY-SA 2.0

Botswana is not a cheap safari option – many of its luxury lodges cost up to $1000 per person per night. Gulp. But travellers willing to endure the odd downpour can nab a bargain when the tourist hordes have headed home. November to April is euphemistically dubbed ‘green season’ – rain is frequent and the resultant thick vegetation can make wildlife harder to spot –
 but it’s also when lodges offer significant discounts and landscapes are at their most lush, attracting myriad birds. Many animals give birth at this time of year too, and a good guide will point out plenty of healthy young babies – as well as the predators inevitably skulking nearby, looking for an easy lunch.

Go: Malaria is present in parts of Botswana, including the Okavango Delta and Moremi and Chobe National Parks – prophylaxis should be taken.

Avoid the crowds and bag a bargain by travelling to the world’s best bits when everyone else isn’t. Here are 10 reasons to resist travel during high season, straight from Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Adventures.

‘Green season’ safari, Botswana

Hippos in Botswana by Mazzali / CC BY-SA 2.0

Botswana is not a cheap safari option – many of its luxury lodges cost up to $1000 per person per night. Gulp. But travellers willing to endure the odd downpour can nab a bargain when the tourist hordes have headed home. November to April is euphemistically dubbed ‘green season’ – rain is frequent and the resultant thick vegetation can make wildlife harder to spot –
 but it’s also when lodges offer significant discounts and landscapes are at their most lush, attracting myriad birds. Many animals give birth at this time of year too, and a good guide will point out plenty of healthy young babies – as well as the predators inevitably skulking nearby, looking for an easy lunch.

Go: Malaria is present in parts of Botswana, including the Okavango Delta and Moremi and Chobe National Parks – prophylaxis should be taken.

Winter wolf-tracking, Yellowstone National ParkUSA

During the summer more than three million people pile into Yellowstone National Park; just 140,000 visit in winter. Sure, some of the roads close from December to March, ranger-led activities fizzle out and temperatures plunge to -20°C. But the pros are manifold: not only are the highlights blissfully tourist-free but the wildlife watching is superb. Resident species such as elk, bison and bighorn sheep overwinter at lower elevations and stand out a mile against the ice-cloaked land. Plus you can enlist a naturalist guide to tramp through the sparkling landscape, following the footprints of the elusive grey wolf, easily visible in the virgin snow.

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